National Poetry Writing Month, 2019 Poetry

4/11: “ongoing”

it’s 1881, and your son is born in a gleaming city of white underneath a fog-gold sky, a newborn living legacy. it’s 1881, and a phone rings somewhere, in the distance, connecting one wire to another, inching the world a little bit smaller. it’s 1881, and a gunshot cracks into a spinal column, festering a fever for months before assassination comes home. it’s 1881, and the world is hot with progress and determination, but with…

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National Poetry Writing Month, 2019 Poetry

4/10: “center ring”

watch! the incredible lightning man! as he shoots sparks from his hands and electrocutes the crowd! come see! the amazing bearded woman! as she combs and braids her beard and pushes away those she loves! witness! the tallest man on earth! as he insists upon dressing himself with fists and ignores his own strength! the spectacle! the greatest show on earth! a band of freaks slashing your tires in the lot out back and lighting…

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National Poetry Writing Month, 2019 Poetry

4/9: “dog days”

oh, grass, sing high and dirt sing low; the sun shining here reminds me: brother tossing a ball, the crack of bat against the leather, disappearing over the fence into woods we knew well, and water in our faces, radio crackling on the ground while we throw each other into depths of blue-green, and cheering, screaming, watching men who feel like family bring gold home for the first time and turn proud, shining faces, and…

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National Poetry Writing Month, 2019 Poetry

4/8: “blossom, blossom, blossom”

sweet blossoms, what do you abide here, in the gloom, where sun won’t shine, impermissible to reveal yourself, insisting you remain black and white when you yourself are a prism of color, of raindrops and teeth and ringlets and fingertips, grasping wet fingertips in the storm, reaching, unfolding, knuckle by knuckle, inch by bloody inch, to show the world you are bright, you are who you are, not an inch otherwise, not what they think,…

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National Poetry Writing Month, 2019 Poetry

4/7: “becoming”

hands raised, prayer, salvation — please, we beg you, please, you shine so bright and so are the best of us, the best of them, savior, champion, beloved — the weight of such a thing, heavy on your back, for who could bear such a load as this, to carry earth, hell, and heaven still to our breaking point. we beg of you, show no flaws, be not human; we are uncomfortable seeing a human…

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National Poetry Writing Month, 2019 Poetry

4/6: “Somme, 1916”

raising their hands, one by one, a tribe of men volunteer their lives in the blood and muck of hard-dug trenches the tranquil valley river Somme — tremendous shells burst in the air, massive metal bodies lay everywhere, after the bomb — but before they were done — the graveyard river Somme — the sweet curling river, the dividing one, that sparkles in a rising sun, that giver of life, and witness to strife, become…

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National Poetry Writing Month, 2019 Poetry

4/5: “legacy (our last will and testament)”

to curiosity, the life-seeker: we sent you alone to explore an empty world and to discover if we were always alone; remember you are not alone, because we made you. to the voyagers, to explorer, the first of their kind: you were the first gasps of air after a lifetime with our heads under the water; you carry our hearts and minds, a newborn’s first dream. to the pathfinder, the survivor: traveler to another world,…

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National Poetry Writing Month, 2019 Poetry

4/4: “pomegranate”

you bring to them the warmth of spring, the sweetest green grasses, the ripest red fruit, the dawn of another age. daughter of the harvest, you lie in wait through your husband’s frozen, dead seasons waiting to come home. mother of the flowers, sometimes the waiting isn’t so bad, warming your husband’s home for longer and longer still. he needs it, the warmth, and you to so gladly give it, for damn the world and…

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National Poetry Writing Month, 2019 Poetry

4/3: “genesis”

just one more inch, that’s it— that’s it, good, good, reach, you have to really want it, it’s been placed within your reach and all you need is the desire. it was placed within your reach, so red and ripe, dripping, crisp in the air of dawn, as a joke, a sort of game between nobody you’d know. but it’s you who reaches it, who draws a blade and snaps it, who commits the first…

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National Poetry Writing Month, 2019 Poetry

4/2: “the creation”

the last pre-person — the last of the prehistoric people, before humans were humans — killed a nest of baby birds. looking in, he saw their bodies, fine broken bones and sticky wings, cracked eggshell and twigs, and did not mourn. his sister found the nest, and she wept — she mourned the lives of the birds, what could have been — and made herself the first human. she rebuilt the bloody nest, and replaced…

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